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It will always be throughout its history, not exactly what he made it . . . but different from what it would have been but for his work upon it. —Daily Spy, 1882, of Charles O. Thompson

It has not attempted to teach all Science. It has done far better than that. Instead of carrying us through as much as possible it has taught us to go alone. —Henry P. Armsby, 1882

It's a chilly day when John gives any of the boys away. —Reminiscences, 1877

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barrassment of all the mechanical engineers on the hill, this elevator had once stuck between floors and refused to budge until the graduation was almost over. The only air stirring in the chapel that hot June day of 1882 came from the “moving of the ladies’ fans.” After lunch, served in the president’s office and Professor Eaton’s classroom, the Com mencement exercises proceeded with Stephen Salisbury presiding as usual. He had mellowed with the years, even attempting an occasional turn of phrase to lighten the occasion. “Numbers are not cultivated in this Institute except in mathematics,” he said when speaking of the purposes of the school. He mentioned Dr. Thompson’s resignation with real distress: “I do not know where we will find his equal.” Then with equanimity learned with age he added with a twinkle, “But the trustees are now looking for him.” One of the speakers was Henry P. Armsby, a graduate of the Institute’s first class and now president of an agricultural college. His presence in this capacity was a tremendous satisfaction to Professor Thompson. Afterwards the class marched to the north side of the campus to plant their elm tree, “the ladies being prettily grouped on the shaded hillside overlooking the site.” The usual orations and poems were read, a song written by one of the mothers was sung, and everyone was loudly cheered, especially the janitor and handyman, John Hurley, “the indispensable functionary,” “the faithful friend and natural protector.” Even while they cheered, Professor Thompson was on his way to board the steamer for Europe.

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First graduation program, 1871

Above: Elmer P. Howe

55 Chapel in Boynton Hall


Sketch of Institute campus by George Gladwin

Salisbury Pond, at end of Boynton Street

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Civil Engineering class with instructor at right, Aldus M. Chapin, father-in-law of Milton P. Higgins

Boynton Hall from West Street

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Opposite: Apprentice Class of the Worcester Technical Institute, 1875, and advertisements of the Washburn Shops

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Chemistry students, 1887

Drawing models, designed by Walter Smith, director of art education in Massachusetts, and made by Washburn Shops. Models were used in art classes in Tech classroom at upper right, opposite page.

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John Hurley


Art classroom

Mechanical engineering students in practice session

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62 Pictorial Map of Worcester, 1878


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Campus, 1895, from Boynton Street


Broader and Brighter - part 2